UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: February 12, 301 AP.

Utanian President "doing a deal" with Liberal Nationalists

Journalists with the Utan Krysaror Star tabloid newspaper claims that President Okarvits is orchestrating a deal with the Liberal Nationalist Party in order to see his massive expenditure on military equipment passed.

President Okarvits has proposed an ambitious plan to strengthen the military, making it capable of protecting the full length of the Utanian coastline and responding to invasions from enemy forces. The Guwimithian armed forces equipment that Utania has inherited is "outdated and would be unable to repel a major invasion force", according to the President's press release of last Friday. "Guwimith relied upon her protectorate status and alliance with the North Gronkian Empire, something Utania cannot do. Self-sufficiency is mandatory", it continues.

The plan is said to contain an ambitious expenditure plan which dramatically exceeds the capital expenditure budget outlined by the President last year of ten billion punds (C3,333M). Some claim the figure is closer to fourteen billion punds (C4,667M). This, say influential left-wing members of the Peoples Party-lead coalition government, is excessive and should be halved. The Burovians agree.

With dissent in his own party, and the loss of support from the Burovians, the UK Star newspaper claims the President is turning to the hawkish Liberal Nationalist Party for support to pass the expenditure bill, a party well-known for its support of an expanded and updated military.

While this is not unusual, says the paper, the fact that it is being done "behind closed doors" raises the possibility of "deals" which may see the President agreeing to some less acceptable policies of the nationalists. And the thought has incensed the Cruistian-Socialist faction of the Peoples Party, as well as many Utani-Saedaj MPs.

"We will not pass this bill, nor any other that sees Utania held captive to secret deals behind closed doors", said Horon Tumakti, leader of the so-called Utani faction, a leftist faction. Tumakti is normally one of the President's most loyal aides, but recently conflicted with him over the Chiquiti health crisis. "We want open accountability for any such deals."

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)